House Republicans have come up with a new defense of Trump, which is to claim that Rudy Giuliani wasn’t working for the president.
House Republicans’ latest plan to shield President Trump from impeachment is to focus on at least three deputies — U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, Trump’s lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, and possibly acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney — who they say could have acted on their own to influence Ukraine policy.
All three occupy a special place in the Ukraine narrative as the people in most direct contact with Trump. As Republicans argue that most of the testimony against Trump is based on faulty secondhand information, they are sowing doubts about whether Sondland, Giuliani and Mulvaney were actually representing the president or freelancing to pursue their own agendas. The GOP is effectively offering up the three to be fall guys.
Rudy Giuliani has publicly stated that he was operating in Ukraine under the direction of Trump. Ukraine witnesses have described to the impeachment investigation how Donald Trump was at the center of the Ukraine scheme. The plan to throw Mulvaney, Giuliani and Sondland under the bus carries with it a high degree of danger for Trump and House Republicans.
Giuliani knows where a lot of Trump’s bodies are buried. If he decides to talk to save himself, Rudy could bring down the president and a whole lot of prominent Republicans.
None of the three will be a willing fall guy for Trump, and the decision to burn them could cost Trump dearly in 2020.
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